Other names: Presa Mallorquin, Majorca Bulldog, Majorca Mastiff
The Ca De Bou, or the Majorcan Mastiff, is a stocky, extremely powerful breed that was developed near the Iberian Peninsula. Like all mastiffs, the Ca De Bou has large, muscular shoulders and a huge head. Unsurprisingly, these imposing looking animals were used as guard dogs in coastal settlements to ward off pirates and would be robbers. Despite their appearance, these dogs become very docile and quiet when not on duty. And as long as they receive the right training and socialisation, they make excellent family pets.
Key facts about the Majorca Mastiff
Life expectancy :
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Origins and history
Unfortunately, the earliest records of these dogs show that they were used in the Mediterranean as fighting dogs and bear baiters. Luckily, as these barbaric practices began to decline, the Ca de Bou found a new lease of life as a guard dog and a watchdog.
In the eighteenth century, when Mallorca became an English colony after the Treaty of Utrecht, the English began to cross their guard and combat dogs with the Great Iberian Mastiff, obtaining the Ca de Bou (also called the Perro in his country). In the Spanish Book of Origins of 1923, we already see the existence of this breed. The first subject was inscribed in 1928 and, in 1929, a copy of this dog won the Barcelona exhibition.
It was first registered by the FCI in 1964. The breed experienced a dip in numbers during the following decades but had a welcome resurgence in the late 1980s, becoming especially popular in Russian and Eastern Europe. The first Ca de Bous were introduced to the UK around 2001.
FCI breed nomenclature
Group 2 - Pinscher and Schnauzer - Molossoid and Swiss Mountain and Cattledogs
Section 1 : Pinscher and Schnauzer type
Physical characteristics of the Majorca Mastiff
Female : Between 20 and 22 in
Male : Between 22 and 23 in
Female : Between 66 and 75 lb
Male : Between 77 and 84 lb
Brindle. Fawn. Black. Tan. Black.
Type of coat
Short. Flat. Rough.
The Majorca Mastiff is a medium-sized dog with a powerful grip. He has an elongated, muscular frame, with short but powerful legs. He has a thick neck and very large head with a stubby muzzle and small ears. The tail is fat at the base and narrows towards the tip, ending in a point. There’s a notable difference between the sexes; the males tend to be much larger.
Good to know
These dogs are very, very strong. Owners need to treat them with a firm but fair hand. Socialise as soon as possible. A poorly trained Mastiff can be extremely difficult to handle. Don’t let these powerful dogs get the better of you. They’re naturally obedient but they will also take advantage of passive owners.
The Ca De Bou is too big to be lap-dog and too laid-back to be overly affectionate. That being said, he still likes a few strokes and cuddles.
The puppies are very playful, and willingly participate in play sessions when invited.
He might not look it, but this dog is surprisingly calm. He exudes a quiet confidence. This guy doesn’t need to show off. He knows he’s tough, and he’s got nothing to prove to anyone.
The Ca De Bou has a reasonable level of intelligence. He responds well to basic obedience training but may struggle with advanced or overly complicated commands.
The Ca De Bou is a watchdog and a guard dog. Although he’s extremely powerful, he’s not athletic enough to be a successful hunting breed.
Fearful / wary of strangers
He is very suspicious of strangers, and needs time to analyze the level of danger in a situation.
He can demonstrate individualism and discretion without constantly demanding the attention of his masters.
Behaviour of the Majorca Mastiff
The Ca de Bou was developed as a guard dog and would often work through the night as his owners got some rest. He deals with solitude much better than most other breeds.
Easy to train / obedience
As long as you stick to the basics, this dog is fairly easy to train. Early socialisation is vital for big powerful dogs like the Ca de Bou.
This natural watchdog only barks when he needs to. When not on guard duty, he barely makes any noise.
Tendency to run away
The Ca De Bou is a relaxed, docile animal that should never run away.
As long as he’s getting enough exercise and companionship, this dog will not become destructive.
Greedy / Gluttony
Big dogs have big appetites, but that doesn’t mean they’re greedy or gluttenous. Food can be a great tool to perfect his education, however.
The Ca de Bou is the archetypal watchdog. It's what they were bred for and they've been doing it for hundreds of years.
Given his size and strength, this dog requires a more experienced handler with a firm understanding of the basic principles of obedience training.
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Majorca Mastiff in a flat
He can live in the city as well as in the countryside. As long as he has sufficient exercise in a day, he will know how to be calm in an apartment.
Need for exercise / Sporty
He is very versatile, and can adapt to either a sporty or sofa lifestyle. He can follow his master on hikes, as well as staying quietly at home. However, he will not be keen to participate in very intense physical activities.
Travelling / easy to transport
He’s far too big to travel on a plane. You will also struggle to get him onto trains. Any long car journeys need to be planned out in advance. Break up the journey so your dog can stretch its legs and do its “business.” A well-educated and socialized dog can be a good companion.
Majorca Mastiff and cats
These big dogs can get on well with cats and other household pets, if they grow up alongside them.
Majorca Mastiff and dogs
The Ca de Bou can be quite territorial, so it's best to introduce him to other dogs from an early age to prevent him getting into scraps in later life.
Majorca Mastiff and children
The Ca de Bou is a big softy and becomes especially gentle and loving around children. However, because of his size, he shouldn’t be left unsupervised around toddlers.
Majorca Mastiff and the elderly
Some elderly people may struggle to handle this large, powerful dog.
We do not have enough data to set an average price. Looking after a dog of this size typically costs between £80 to £160 a month, including food, medical/insurance, and incidental expenses.
The Ca de Bou requires minimal grooming. A quick brush once every few weeks is all he really needs.
Nutrition of the Majorca Mastiff
4-5 cups of high-quality dog food split over two or three meals. A diet rich in fiber and protein is recommended.
Health of the Majorca Mastiff
This is a well-bred and very healthy working dog with an average life expectancy of 11 years.
Strong / robust
This breed is as sturdy and as tough as a dog can get. If well-looked after and not overstrained as puppies, they grow up to be strong, well-built, and very self-assured.
A shelter must be made available in the garden to protect against hot weather.
Big dogs rarely struggle with maintaining their body temperature during the colder months of the year.
Tendency to put on weight
The Ca de Bou isn’t the most active breed. Overfeeding him by even the smallest can lead to unwanted weight gain.
- Hip dysplasia